The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) manages 7,300-acres of natural area forests by hands-on work of professional staff and volunteer stewards. Through NYC Parks’ Stewardship program, trained staff engage over 8,000 volunteers annually, many of them working in natural area forests removing invasive plants, planting, and formalizing trails throughout the city. Here we discuss the evolution of Parks’ community stewardship through a highly publicized tree planting campaign, the campaign’s conclusion and its newest approach to forest management.